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Fault Lines

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  1,766 ratings  ·  304 reviews
A best seller in France, with over 400,000 copies sold, and currently being translated into eighteen languages, "Fault Lines "is the new novel from internationally-acclaimed and best-selling author Nancy Huston. Huston's novel is a profound and poetic story that traces four generations of a single family from present-day California to WW II]Cera Germany. "Fault Lines" begi ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Grove Press (first published January 1st 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Bonnie
"Faultless"

I know this isn't the correct way to use this word -- but I enjoyed this book so much I wanted to flip back to the first page and read it all over again.
Sara
I almost put this book down after reading the first few pages. Sol seemed more like a 40-year-old pervert than a six-year-old boy. But, thanks to Goodreads, I kept reading as many of the reviews encouraged. The three other characters - Randall, Sadie, and Kristina - were much more believable as six-year-old children. I could see the connectedness between them and how (as you went back in time) their childhoods had been affected by their parent's childhood. A brilliant idea. My big problems with ...more
Bree
At first I wasn't really too sure about this one...I started reading it, and after just having put down "Forever Lily" because of the whole "I'm in tune with everything" attitude, I was scared when Sol was talking about how great he was and that he knew he had a purpose. But it QUICKLY got better, and just when I was getting interested in Sol, the view changed to that of his father (Randall) when he was the same age as Sol, then switched to Randall's mother (Sadie) and finally Kristina/Erra.

It
...more
Erica
This is a beautiful story, and the method of telling is really interesting.

The reason I only gave it three stars is that each chapter is told from the POV of a 6 yr old. And, I just didn't buy it. The language was wrong for a 6 year old, and I felt that a lot of the feelings were wrong for a 6 year old. Had she made the characters 9 years old, I could have felt more comfortable with it. It just really prevented me from completely buying in to the thoughts and feelings as being honest and true.
Morrigan
Disturbing doesn't quite cover it. Painful and uncomfortable to read is more like it. This is a book that confronts taboo subjects head on...all the meanwhile breaking into the readers comfort zone. If this is what the author was trying to accomplish, then it did so in the first five pages. The book not only takes you out of your comfort zone, it challenges what you believe in, societal schemes, childhood and the basic idea of the innocence of a child.

The novel is told from four different viewpo
...more
Judy
I'm often skeptical of books that are advertised as prize winners. Fault lines is the winner of the Prix Femina and was short-listed for the Orange Prize and has made me rethink this prejudice. This is a well-written, thought-provoking book. It's the story of four generations of a family that has some deep divisions, or fault lines, and some incredible secrets. The story is told in reverse chronological order and each of the generations tells its section of the story through the eyes of a six ye ...more
Eliza
7/30/2012: A novel written backwards--in sections that work in reverse chronological order--has to be pretty great to succeed; Fault Lines, telling a story that moves from 2004 to 1945, succeeds beautifully. Each narrator (there are 4) is a highly strung and highly observant 6 year old; each is the parent of the narrator of the preceding section. Hm, that sounds confusing, but it made sense once I got into it. It was still frustrating, at times, to know that I was missing details and meaning tha ...more
Margot
There is a crack in this world: a world where children acts like adults and where adults are childish. There is a crack in the human condition. There is a crack in people souls. 356 pages: violence, sex, perversion, pain, joy, loneliness, hope, fear, solidarity, love, family, desire, loss, memories, expectations, ecstasy. Nancy Huston deals with all of these notions with brilliancy and strength. The story is really coherent and solid, based on independant stories that are not so independant actu ...more
Stephanie
At first when I picked this book up, I thought, oh no, another novel about Germany, WWII, the Nazis, the Jews, blah blah blah, been there, done that. But no, this one is different. Fault Lines is told through the eyes of four generations of six-year olds, in reverse order.

Some of the language attributed to six-year olds was unbelievable and even annoying at times, and for this reason I think the story would have worked better if the children were older. Here's an example: "Thank you very, very
...more
Mariah
I may have given this book four stars immediately after finishing it, but in the few days that have passed since then, I keep thinking about it and analyzing the characters and pasting the story together a little more which is the sign of a good book so I bumped it up to five.

It is written from the point of view of four six year olds-all one generation apart in the same family-in reverse chronological order. So first Sol, then his father as a six year old, then his grandmother as a six year old
...more
Jollen
Well written,and interesting. I feel as though I need to go back and re read it....backwards.
Muphyn
As others have said, the book gets much better once you've managed to get yourself through Part 1. Part 1 is narrated by Sol, a perverted 6-year-old who thinks himself God-like and the centre of the universe. He's obsessed with violence, war, rape, mutilation, explicit sex,... and I seriously couldn't work out where things were going. I found this part really hard to get through, and was at the point of chucking it into a corner when I read some reviews. I'm still at a loss to reconcile this par ...more
Coral Rose
The first, Fault Lines has an interesting premise (family secrets told by four generations of six-year-olds, starting with the story of the most recent) about an interesting subject (the blond, blue-eyed children stolen from their families and given to German families to bolster up the Aryan race during WWII) that I quite literally devoured on the trip down. I left at 5:45 in the morning, and by the time I landed at noon, I had been finished and digesting for at least an hour. Because I read it ...more
Rita
I liked this book, but I did not love it.

A friend recommended the book while she was reading it, so I put it on my list, not having any idea what it was about. I don't read jacket covers or blurbs, so I usually go into books totally blind, to be able to enjoy the journey without any spoilers at all.

This one gave quite a journey. The first part is written by a possibly sociopathic six-year-old, Sol. His sophistication and self-perceived heightened intelligence are believable as maybe part of hi
...more
John
Fault Lines by Nancy Huston was a “Prix Femina”prize winner (one of France’s top literary awards). Huston, though I had never heard of her has written 12 novels. I took a flyer here, because Cynthia Crossen (the WSJ book lover column in Weekend Journal) recommended it in her “best of 2009” list ((BTW…did you know she was a Mac Grad!?)) and it was the only one I could find on the shelf in the local library.

Give it 3 stars. Intriguing look at four generations of the family though the eyes of very
...more
Debbie
Jun 16, 2009 Debbie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Caroline, Danielle, Karen
A backward chronology of an aspect of the holocaust of which I wasn't aware, told by each generation of the family during their sixth year of life. Each six year old has a somewhat naive view of adult things happening around them, save Sol. His chapter (the opening) made me think of him as the poster child for monitoring your child's internet, television and video use. Disturbing as all getout. But not, I'm afraid, far from the truth. What's really interesting is that a lot of the pornography, h ...more
Anamarija
generalno dobra knjiga. glavna mi je tema baš jako zanimljiva i rado bi čitala još knjiga na temu "vrela života". stil pripovijedanja je hrabar - priča ide unatrag i ispričana iz perspektive četvero šestogodišnjaka.
međutim, više sam se puta u knjizi pitala ima li autorica djece. jer njeni šestogodišnjaci se ponekad u knjizi ponašaju kao devetogodišnjaci. također, i odrasli likovi u knjizi se povremeno ponašaju kao devetogodišnjaci, da ne kažem neuvjerljivo.
Kristian Novak je to puno bolje odrad
...more
Susan
Evidently during WWII the Nazis stole children from the Ukarine and Poland since their own gene supply was running low due to losses during the war. These children were selected based on Aaryan traits, perfection, intelligence, perfection in physical and mental characteristics, stolen from their parents and placed in homes of German families where they were raised. This book traces 4 generations starting with the present day dating back to WWII in the eyes of a 6 year old child from each precedi ...more
Victoria
Ehh... This book had an interesting premise and structure, but it seems that some of the more interesting parts of the story fell in the gaps between sections. Really, the book's downfall lay in the characters. I can't think of a book with more unlikable and unrealistic characters. I didn't even know that books could make six-year-olds unlikable. As for unrealistic, these four "six"-year-olds were so grown up that rather being precocious, they were ridiculous.
The book starts off with the most un
...more
Barbara Sibbald
Damn, Huston is brilliant! I'm so envious. "Fault Lines" is narrated by four children from different generations of the same family, with the aim of revealing a dark past to the present. It's told backwards, beginning in modern-day California and going back through Toronto to Germany in World War II. For the most part the children's voices are believable (particularly Kristina, less so, Sol); their observations and concerns are realistic, without being cloying. The dramatic end is well supported ...more
Damian
This book came highly recommended by a colleague, and through the first 25 pages, I had some serious doubts. Reading a book based on the perspective of a narcissistic first grader is not my idea of compelling literature. However, before long, I was hooked. I enjoyed this book on multiple levels. Of course, there are the family dramas and historical links. However, what I respected most was how the author skillfully illustrated the way children can create false self-images based on events in thei ...more
Jacqueline
Contente de découvrir enfin Nancy Huston. Roman à quatre voix dont chaque partie est racontée par un enfant de six ans appartenant à la génération antérieure à l'enfant qui le précède au sein d'une même famille (si vous voyez ce que je veux dire). On commence donc dans les années 2000 pour finir dans les années 40 et au fur et à mesure qu'on remonte dans le temps on comprend ce qu'on a lu au début. Assez intelligent si ce n'est que la première partie joue à fond la carte de la provocation avec l ...more
korey
This is a brilliantly written book. The beginning of the book is a bit creapy, and I was thinking I might have to put it down, but I kept on and I'm so glad I did because it quickly changed and kept getting better. The story is told by four generations of a family starting with the creapy six year old Sol in 2004, to Sol's Dad Randall, then Randall's Mom Sadie and then her Mom Kristina. They are all six years old when telling their story, so the perceptions are really interesting, but sometimes ...more
Vivienne
A selection for one of my reading groups. I'd have given 3.5 stars if that were possible.

Although I was quite put off by the opening section narrated by the 6-year old going on 30 rather sleazy Sol, the other 3 sections narrated by his father, grand-mother and great-grandmother also at the age of 6 were much more engaging and wove a fascinating narrative about this particular bloodline.

As it is told backwards through time close attention is needed to some events mentioned early on that only be
...more
E.D. Martin
I almost gave up on this book because it began with Sol and I hated that character, and his mother. I really doubt that a 6 year old has thoughts like his, even if he is incredibly gifted, and I had a hard time connecting with such a horrible person (and no matter what his age, Sol is a horrible person). However, the story improved as I read the other sections.

Someone else remarked in another review that the book would be better if the characters were a little older, and I definitely agree, as m
...more
Shona
I did end up enjoying this but I didn't think I was going to. The first character is very strange!
It is a story that unravels through the stories of 4 generations of one family, all of whom are still living.
Each section of the book is told by the character as a 6 year old so it takes you back in time.
I didn't get the first character at all, he is not like any 6 year old I have ever come across! Maybe someone out there can explain the relevance to me?
It got better after that and I couldn't put i
...more
Allison Herman
This was the story of a Jewish family told in reverse. It starts today and tells the story through a 6 year old's eyes. The next chapter goes back some years - to when the mother of the 6 year old is a child herself. It's interesting to see the family dynamics and follow the religious ties throughout. It just wasn't as captivating as I'd hoped it would be. The second half of the third chapter and the beginning of the fourth really did not hold my attention well.
Janie Vogel
One of the beauties of this book is its inventive construction, a backward chronology that isn't quite flashback as one typically thinks of it. The story is intriguing, subtle with foreshadowing (backshadowing?), and each part of it told by different characters already known to us as adults, but written by each at the age of six. This is the sort of book that, when I've finished, I wish I hadn't read yet, so I still had that pleasure ahead.
Kim
A fictional account of Lebensborn: blond, blue-eyed children of Polish, Ukrainian and Baltic origin who were kidnapped by the Nazis and given to German families during WWII. I had no idea that over 200,000 children were stolen - only 40,000 were ever reunited with their families. Enjoyed how the story unfolds, starting with present day and working through the generations to Kristina, aka Klarysa, aka Erra. Poignant and moving.
Lisa
My mom recommended this book from her book club. It was very captivating reading about 4 generations in reverse order. The first section was quite disturbing for me and my mom to read hence my 3 stars not 4 or 5. But talking to my mom about the feedback in her book club helped me see the statement the author was trying to make. The book made me stop and think about how decisions we make today affect our future generations.
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(from Wikipedia)
Huston lived in Calgary until age fifteen, at which time her family moved to Wilton, New Hampshire, USA. She studied at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, where she was given the opportunity to spend a year of her studies in Paris. Arriving in Paris in 1973, Huston obtained a Master's Degree from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, writing a thesis on swear words und
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